HIGH RISK: Four Paws Pimple Ball with Bell

What an incredible story!  This just happened two months ago, so Beware and please Pass On!

The Chai Story

On Sunday, June 22, 2008 my 10-year old lab mix, Chai, sustained a severe injury from a product that the company Four Paws Inc, produces. The toy I’m referencing is the pimple ball with bell. (Item #20227-001, UPC Code 0 4566320227 9)

While chewing on the toy, a vacuum was created and it effectively sucked his tongue into the hole in the ball. From speaking with my vet, this likely occurred because there is not a second hole in the ball preventing the vacuum effect from happening. I became aware of this when Chai approached a friend at my home whimpering with the ball in his mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove the ball but the tongue had swollen and could not be released.

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16 Responses

  1. Fran says:

    I had been notified earlier today about this and have disposed of the one I had.

  2. Sandi says:

    I am so sorry to see what this product has done to your dog. Thank you very much for sharing your horrible experience. Because of you all who read this can protect their dogs..I will send this to my entire list…Sandi

  3. Linda says:

    OMG, i use to have one of those balls, years ago.. thank godness nothing like that ever happened. I watched the video clips of your dog and thought how lucky he is to have you. You are an incredible person. I would do the same for either one of my two dogs and it’s nice to know there are other people in the world like myself. I wish you the best of luck with your dogs recovery. Please give him a kiss for me, because i can see what a truely special guy he is..
    And i will NEVER buy a product from this company, even if they do finally redesign their ball..
    God bless you and your lovely dog, “Chai”…

  4. I am a co-owner of a gourmet dog bakery in Beacon, NY where we also sell toys and assessories for dogs and cats. After having read the story of Chai, I can say I will be talking to my business partner about removing and discontinuing all Four Paws products from our store. I am saddened by the journey Chai and family have been through and send lots of warm hugs to all.

  5. cheryl says:

    if anyone has an older one throw it out…. but no need to boycott the company, they have fixed the problem. you can buy the ball now with a HOLE in it to prevent the vacuum. they seemed to have fixed the issue, just hope that this issue gets resolved between the company and the chai’s owner. thanks for the story!

  6. Kerri Chaplin says:

    I just got a reply from 4 paws after I wrote a letter to them letting them know I supported a complete company wide boycott of ALL their products.

    Thank you very much for your message.

    Like you, Four Paws is deeply concerned about reports of injuries suffered by some dogs as a result of a manufacturing defect in some of our Pimple Ball with Bell toys.

    We want you to know that we have stopped shipping these toys to our distributors and we have asked them to have retailers remove the toys from their shelves immediately and return them at our expense.

    We have also stopped all shipments of the toys from the manufacturer, and we are sending Executive Vice President Barry Askin to personally inspect the manufacturer’s facility in order to make sure that the defect has been corrected.

    We are also changing the packaging of the Pimple Balls to make it easier to inspect them for potential defects, and we are individually inspecting every one of the toys in our inventory in order to identify any that may be defective.

    Thank you again for your message and your concern. Please be assured that the safety and well being of pets is our top priority and we are doing everything we can to make sure that this problem is solved as quickly as possible.

    Sincerely Yours

    Four Paws Products

    Allen Simon


  7. Shauna Leigh says:

    I just visited the Fourpaws website, and all reference to this product has been removed. It is remarkable to me how much response was required to make this company understand how important our animals are to us.

  8. Terri Crispin says:

    While Four Paws’ website states the Pimple Ball is being recalled, you can still find it (and the other products being recalled, the Teaser Ball, Dental Dumbbell and 3-Piece Fun Pac) sold all over the web.

    You can’t trust Four Paws to do the right thing. In 2005 a dog died from the same thing, and Four Paws promised that dog’s owner then that it would redesign the ball. It didn’t.

    Keep the heat on – it’s taken two months of Chai’s owner dealing with them, and two weeks of animal lovers blitzing this all over the web, for them to even POST that they were recalling it. Let’s see how long it takes them to actually do it!

  9. christina says:

    In response to the comment above, as an independant pet supply retailer I can assure you that Four Paws has absolutely recalled these products. We have gotten several emails from them urging and reminding not only distributors but retailers as well to take the products off shelves and off inventory lists. However, sadly, there is little anyone can do to stop unauthorized resellers of any pet product, since these people are everywhere from ebay to flea markets.

  10. Wendy says:

    Incredible, poor animal and owner….there should be some way of making sure that toys be they animal of human are thoroughly checked after production and before they go on sale that they will not harm. (I know that there is one for children-they should have one for animals).

    I always found that the four paws brand was too expensive to buy anyway, so have never bothered buying their toy products…won’t be now that’s for sure….

  11. Kathy says:

    I found your website looking for an e-tailer that sells four paws balls because my dog chews through EVRYTHING but this ball (four paws pimple ball with bell) so was looking for more… I then inpected the ball we bought for him from a respectable local pet food store and there was a PARTIAL hole through the back side but it did not go all the way through… the ‘hole’ was deep too so it looked like it did but didn’t… I purchased this in late Oct 2008. I will check with the store the next time I go in but be careful that the 2nd hole actually goes all the way through the ball.

  12. bud says:

    They should have put the dog down, what was spent could have saved another dog

  13. Jennifer says:

    First I want to say that I commend you for loving Chai like that! I can only imagine the HORROR you went through and all of the efforts on your part! Thank you for sharing your story. I will know to NEVER EVER buy anything like this for any of my babies.

    Furthermore, I cannot BELIEVE the comment by Bud! You speak of Chai as a piece of property. Dogs are family just as much as anyone else. A dog would go above and beyond to do the same for you. A German Shepard give her life for me when I was a child. A dog will give their life because they are so dedicated to you and you say “put the dog down”.

    To the owner of Chai – God Bless You and I give you my best. I sincerely hope it all turns out okay for the both of you!

  14. jack says:

    I think no one needs to be mad at Four Paws Inc. Yes, the dog owners whos’ dogs were injured have a right to be frustrated about a fairly reckless mistake on the part of this toy in particular, but I can guarantee you the makers of the toy feel awful. If they work for a dog toy company, im sure they adore dogs as much if not more than we do, and they obviously wouldn’t make a toy with the intent of hurting one. I personally love playing instruments, and I know that if I made some instrument accessory that ended up damaging peoples’ instruments, I would feel like CRAP. So cut FPI a break guys. They don’t like the idea of hurting dogs any more than anyone else.

  15. Mandy says:

    Frankly jack that was what I thought at first too until I realized how much of a cover up this whole situation was. Frankly the lukewarm response of Four Paws was what made me and many other dog owners turn against them.

    If they cared so very much why did it take them so long to respond?

    If the threat of sales did not reach them they wouldn’t have cared one bit.

  16. june lee says:

    WARNING: CUZ almost killed my great dane puppy. Please check out the following site:
    On November 22, 2010, Bella, my almost 8 months puppy broke the squeaker of her new toy large Good Cuz and thus a hole was created. This hole turned out to be a powerful vacum and sucked up Bella’s tongue into the small hole. What the Cuz did to my Bella was exactly the same as the Pimple Ball did to Chai. Fortunately, Bella’s tongue is saved but poor Chai’s has been amputated. This whole incident was so distressful which I would not like to repeat it. I have already report the incident to the JW Pet company to request a recall of this dangerous toy from the market. IF THERE IS ALREADY A HOLE IN YOUR CUZ, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE THROW IT ALWAY IMMEDIATELY.

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